The Safety Net Project advocates for
economic justice for low- and no-income New Yorkers by ensuring access
to public benefits and government accountability for these programs
using a multi-pronged approach of direct legal services, litigation,
research and policy advocacy. At the heart of our work is protecting
the due process right of New Yorkers to a hearing before the
termination of public assistance. Unfortunately, one in five New
Yorkers live below the federal poverty line and the system frequently
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on Facebook! violates their due process rights as they attempt to participate in government programs, leaving families and individuals without basic necessities such as food and housing. Saftey Net attorneys and advocates diligently work to hold the government accountable for their legal mandates so that low- and no-income New Yorkers have a real opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty.
Direct Legal Services
SNP's representation of individuals focuses on the enforcement of due
process rights in the Cash Assistance, Food Stamp, and Medicaid
programs. SNP operates seven free and easily accessible walk-in
legal clinics in food pantries and soup kitchens throughout New York
City. SNP also helps public assistance recipients seeking access to
education programs through our legal clinic at Hostos Community
College. SNP's legal advocacy includes educating clients about their
rights in the public benefits system and giving them the tools to
advocate for themselves, advocating for them with the Human Resources
Administration, representing clients at Fair Hearings, and filing
Article 78 cases in New York State Supreme Court, when necessary. In
addition, we prescreen individuals that do not receive food stamps to
determine if they may be eligible as well as the amount of
eligibility. To find a legal clinic near you, please call 646-602-5600
or for a copy of our legal clinic schedule
When we discover systemic problems and ongoing failures of the government to abide by the rights of our clients, SNP engages in litigation to ensure that the government fulfills its legal obligations. The direct services we provide to New Yorkers inform our litigation and we have represented thousands of New Yorkers in class action litigation, bringing lasting and systemic change. Recently, we have used litigation to ensure that low-income New Yorkers have due process in public benefits programs, and access to food stamps, post-secondary educational opportunities and affordable housing options. For more information on our current and past litigation activities click here.
Research and Policy
SNP conducts research that examines current public benefits programs and promotes policy recommendations aimed at improving the delivery of public benefits and services to low-income families. SNP also provides technical assistance on research initiatives conducted by other community groups. For more information on our research reports and policy advocacy work click here.
News and Events
Safety Net Project celebrates the release of their book, Street Practice
Street Practice presents recent studies of non-profit organizations involved in poverty relief services in New York City in comparison with programs in existence across the U.S. Street Practice provides a front-line, ground-level perspective on innovative research practices designed to solve community problems. It explores the manner in which organizations bridge the gap between research and policy advocacy, with an account of the ways in which research contributes to alleviating or solving a community problem, as well as details on successes and failures of advocacy work, problems and limitations of their research, funding constraints and political resistance. As such, this book not only offers compelling examples of social change in action, but also serves to introduce models for research and policy advocacy that can be applied similarly in other urban areas.
Thank you to all who shared in SNP’s celebration. To purchase Street Practice, access link below: